The Grammys are always the music industry’s biggest night of the year — but 2024’s on Feb. 4, turned out even better than the rest.
Taylor Swift transformed the 66th annual ceremony in Las Vegas’ Crypto.com Arena into her own event by announcing her brand new album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” during her acceptance speech for Best Pop Vocal Album. She also made history at the end of the program as the only artist to take home the Album of the Year gramophone four times.
Other important winners, such as Billie Eilish for Song of the Year and first-timer Miley Cyrus for Record of the Year, campaigned their nominated hits with stripped-back performances featuring little but their voices and a mic.
Dua Lipa opened the Grammys with an edgy rendition of her latest single, “Houdini,” moving along with men in a cage and wearing black leather with her new red hair. More icons also took the stage, like Tracy Chapman duetting “Fast Car” with country star Luke Combs.
Many older musical legends received their flowers, including Joni Mitchell singing blissfully on a golden throne, Billy Joel as the closing act and some recently departed musicians who Stevie Wonder honored with a long piano ballad.
The most special appearance surprised all audiences as Céline Dion stepped out to introduce the final award to Swift. The crowd fell silent out of reverence for her and her diagnosis of stiff-person syndrome in 2022.
SZA, the most nominated artist going into the night, scored Best R&B Song for “Kill Bill” following her theatrical performance of it with table-dancers and katanas. Travis Scott put on a similarly charged set by using pyrotechnics and throwing metal chairs around.
A few untelevised reveals spanned some of the Grammy voters’ hottest choices, such as boygenius for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance and Killer Mike for Best Rap Album.
Although the night never seemed to drag on too much, viewers online expressed a variety of opinions on Jay Z’s lengthy speech about exposing and boycotting the recording academy when up for the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award. He brought his daughter, Blue Ivy, to stand beside him and consistently hinted at her mother and his wife, Beyoncé, while sharing his critiques.
More controversy came in the form of Cyrus mentioning her lack of underwear underneath her multiple outfit changes. Before this, presenters Meryl Streep and Mark Ronson poked fun at the confusing and subtle difference between the awards for Record versus Song of the Year.
Upon opening the envelope for the first award, Mariah Carey celebrated the list of all-female nominees. Women dominated the Grammys this year, especially in the big four categories like Best New Artist, which went to Victoria Monét.
But even on the loudest, most musical night of the year, everybody tuned in and listened to the times Swift spoke — and once again, the queen of surprises ruled the Grammys in a way that nobody would ever expect.